Hmmmm, tasty flavor infused ciders. This sounds like a fantastic idea to me. I like all sorts of different cider blends from Marion berry to the more exotic like Reverend Nats “Deliverance Ginger Tonic!”.
As a potential pub owner and cider maker, (I am working on my plans to open Cyclops Cyder this spring) I am thinking of ways to offer up tasty new cider flavors that can only be purchased in the pub, or if they become popular enough as a new full time offering. During my search for flavor enhancement ideas I came across the Randall from Dogfish Head now in its third iteration (3.0). This little unit is for the tap line and runs around $300.00 bones, a little pricy but could be worth it. The new 3.0 system is a double chamber unit Dogfish Head gives a great write up of it so I will include it here.
Randall 3.0 has two chambers: the first chamber (at the inlet) is the infusing chamber (this chamber is filled with hops, spices, etc.); The second chamber (at the outlet) is the de-foaming chamber. Foam generated by the interaction of beer and hops settles out in the second chamber allowing you to dispense the perfect pint.The second chamber also has an outer tube for holding ice. – See more at: www.dogfish.com
It looks like Blichmann Engineering is in the game as well with their HopRocket™.
The HopRocket™ is an incredibly innovative hop infusing tool packed with world-class features! It can be used as a hopback, but it also doubles as an inline hop infuser (Randalizer) for your beer-dispensing system and, better yet, it triples as an inline filter*!
These units are currently being used by some pubs and brewers for adding extra hop aromas and flavors to their beers. I have not found any evidence of a cidery using one yet, but I will be giving it a try. I think I will be using hops, fruits, and some spices.
What would you run through on of these? Have you tried a technique like this?
There are some great resources out there for building a home built model, check out the forum over at HomeBrewTalk.com for some great examples.